The Anchorage Community Development Authority voted unanimously Monday to extend a lease agreement for the city’s weekend market. 13 people testified.
The Anchorage weekend market will be around in the same spot for another summer, but it’s hard to say after that. Ted Carlson is the chair of the Anchorage Community Development Authority, the group that rents out a 7-acre parking lot to the market. He says the group will use the year to research the best use for the lot.
“The Public commented on keeping the Saturday Market. Some commented on moving it to the fourth Avenue. Some commented on having it both places. There was one that commented on doing away with the Saturday market. We are going to evaluate all of the comments that we got and then evaluate what’s the best use of that lot.”
Carlson says the ACDA will also conduct a survey. Bill Webb has managed the market since 1999 though his firm, Webb Consulting. The market has more 300 venders. Webb’s five-year contract to rent the lot was extended two additional years previously. He says merchants are trying to hijack the market.
“I think they are trying to hijack the market — nothing new, that’s been going on for years. They’ve bid against us every time it’s been up. We’ve never asked from an exclusive. We’re not afraid of competition and if somebody else wants to come down and bid against us, that’s fine.”
Carlson says the ACDA will make a decision on whether the market’s contract will be renewed again, next Spring.